Call for Government to 'open the files' on Casey case

HUNDREDS of Republicans gathered in Rasharkin over the weekend of April 6 to commemorate local IRA volunteer Gerard Casey.

Married with a young family Gerard was shot by the UVF in 1989.

According to Sinn Fein, his case is one of a number of collusion cases that remain unresolved in the North Antrim area.

In a statement, Sinn Fin has again called for a full and independent investigation into his death.

Local people also remembered Gerard’s brother, Liam Casey, who was also an IRA member and who had died in tragic circumstances.

On what turned out to be a glorious day, North Antrim Sinn Fin MLA Daith McKay welcomed the crowd who had gathered from Counties Antrim, Derry and Donegal to attend the event.

The Guest Speaker at the Commemoration was Civil Rights Campaigner and Republican veteran Francie Molloy.

Mr Molloy said: “Gerard Casey was a victim of British and state collusion, of that there is no doubt. Collusion was a policy which people in this area from north Antrim through to south Derry and Donegal will be familiar with as will many from East Tyrone and Armagh where another collusion triangle operated.

“The killings of Republicans such as John Davey, Tommy Donaghy, Bernard O’Hagan and Danny Cassidy were all part of a strategy to stop the rise of republicanism. A strategy which failed.

“We remember those who died as a result of collusion and all others who gave up their lives for Irish freedom; it is quite clear that in places like Rasharkin Gerard Casey and their names will never be forgot.”

Speaking after the weekend, the Chairperson of the local Sinn Fin Cumann, Laoi ine N Pheacoig, said:

"On behalf of the Gerard Casey Sinn Fin Cumann Rasharkin, I would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who took part and contributed to what was a very fitting tribute to glach Gerard Casey.

"The message sent out by this weekend's events is that there are more republicans in Rasharkin than ever before and the massive crowds that continue to turn out for Republican events throughout north Antrim shows quite clearly that republicanism is still continuing to grow unabated in this area, as it is throughout the island."